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Dive Review of Palau Aggressor II in

April, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Paul Jacobsen, CA, USA
Reviewer   (3 reports)
Report Number 4418
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
82   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 150    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Buddy teams of 2 and between guides  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Good work area on dive deck. No in doors work area. No rinse tank on skiff
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
3 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars    
1 stars   
4 stars    
While more expensive than other Palau live aboards I'm glad I went on the
Palau Aggressor II (PA2).  It's a well run boat, great food and very safe
operation.  I was very impressed at the safety equipment they provide if
you don't have it already; Dive Alert horn, knife, sausage and an EPIRB. 
Unlike other boats the PA2 has the RF direction finding equipment and
training to locate you if you get blown off the reef. Along with safety the
PA2 had all of the amenities I was looking for as compared to the lower
cost alternatives.  At 6ft 4in I did fit on the bed, but my cabin #7 was
near the rear of the ship had a lot of machinery noise, which eminated from
under the bottom bed.
The Aggressor's motto is Eat, Sleep, & Dive! at the end of the week I
noticed they didn't have Relax in their motto for a reason. I thought there
would have been more time to relax, but with their operational schedule
that really doesn't happen, unless you skip dives.  Id suggest starting in
Yap first as Yap is a good choice to get into the time zone and get all of
your gear ready for aggressive diving on the PA2. 

The PA2 uses a skiff for diving, but I thought the PA2 would have been
anchored nearer to specific dive sites, rather they anchor typically in a
central channel and you end up spending up to 2 hours a day commuting on
the skiff, hence limiting the opportunity for time to relax between dives. 

The mornings start early, with a briefing and on the skiff by 7 AM dive.
With the early morning dives you're out on the popular sites before the day
boats arrive.  That way makes sense, with the end results that worked out
for us as there were only 2 dives that we encounter divers from the day

The first day there are 4 dives, there after you can do 5 dives a day.  But
with the tight schedule the night dives means your diving about 45 minutes
after dinner on a full stomach.  The kitchen will hold your food for you if
you choose to eat after the night dive, but then youre eating around 9 PM.

Im not sure if it was being in a mid moon cycle, but the currents actually
were pretty mild and variable.  So at some of the classic hook-in dives
there was not a lot of stuff happening compared to if the current was
really ripping.  The diving was a good mix and was great. All dives were
done on the south of Koror. At first I found it hard, you had to keep
splitting your attention between "do I look in the cracks for neat
little stuff, or do I look out into the blue for the big stuff?" It
actually took me awhile to be able to split my attention that way. But
there are just some spectacular dives in my log book now.   

Palau is definitely not for the inexperienced OW diver, and Nitrox is
almost a must.  Most safety stops are done hanging in the blue, One safety
stop we had to do in up and down currents that would give an inexperience
diver trouble.
The PA2 always had 3 Crew in the water at a time. Usually one leading, one
in the middle and one bring up the end of the group. It was a bit of
herding and in the beginning of the week it was very crowded with 18 divers
all in the water. I kept getting run over since I like to go at a slower
pace and not be in a hurry.  By the end of the week people learned to
spread out a bit. But even with the herding the PA2 requires buddy teams of
2. I was traveling single and was buddied up by PA2 with my room mate,
which didnt work out. So I talked to the captain after the first day,
which was awkward, but I figured I paid the same for the trip and I wanted
to enjoy it too.  I was allowed to team up with another buddy team.
The last day, Saturday I felt a little cheated; even though its a Sunday
morning check out you are docked Koror.  After breakfast you go to Jelly
Fish lake on the skiff and Clam City (Snorkel dives). You return to the PA2
that is now docked in Koror all of Saturday. Skipping the last dive is a
suggestion and is no big lost (Chandelier Cave). That way you have more
than 24 hrs before a flight out Saturday evening. Flying out on the
Saturday is much more preferable than another day in the town, and you are
able to make connections back to the States with having to do another night
in Guam.

On my trip the PA2 tacked on a $150 fuel surcharge and charges $150 for
Nitrox.  I think for the price of the charter PA2 should include Nitrox as
the lower cost boats included it. So there is a little sticker shock at the
end of the week. 
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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